If you’re ready to update your professional headshot, Austin, TX offers a wide variety of eclectic backgrounds to suit every personality! Many people automatically think of a traditional studio setting with a plain background and “perfect” lighting when it comes to headshots, but I’m here to convince you that environmental portraits, which are headshots taken on location, can provide more personality and a more authentic feel to your images. It’s my preferred way to provide my clients with the images they need to represent their best selves. In a city as vibrant and diverse as Austin, TX, there are many options for locations that can provide the perfect backdrop for your lifestyle photoshoot – whether it be for commercial marketing content, new headshots, or even family or senior portraits. In this blog post, I’m gonna share with you my top 5 locations for headshots in Austin, TX.
Austin Photoshoot Locations: South Congress
Don’t want to be bright, bold, or brash? If you’re looking for a more muted, understated, and highly professional feel, South Congress is the best location for a headshot in Austin for you. Although South Congress has always been one of the most popular destinations in Austin, TX, and formerly was known as one of the more eclectic neighborhoods in the city, recent changes and development have brought a more cosmopolitan and minimalist design to the architecture and aesthetic of the street.
A muted or neutral toned background is going to help keep you as the focus and subject of the photo, while creating a super professional and polished look. While bright and bold backgrounds may be appropriate for certain industries or business or folks that really want to stand out from the crowd, a neutral tone is going to help create a more serious image and make it easier for you to incorporate your headshot into a wide variety of marketing materials, making it a super versatile option.
So, if you want to go timeless and classic – the understated walls and staircases of South Congress is my number one recommendation for the top 5 headshot locations in Austin.
Austin Photoshoot Locations: The Seaholm Power District
The Seaholm Power District is a relatively new addition to Austin’s skyline, but it has quickly become one of my top 5 locations for headshots in Austin. The district offers a mix of old and new, with industrial structures and sleek modern architecture blending together. The former power plant is now home to restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a great location for lifestyle photoshoots that need a little bit of everything and there are some nearby black and white murals that can add a bit of fun and funky into the mix. The stark white pipes and industrial nature of the back of the power plant offers an exceptionally fun backdrop that allows your color palette to really pop, if you want to bring some color into your photos in a subdued way.
If you want a location that offers a blend of bright, wild, and colorful WITH the options for some neutral backgrounds mixed in, this is the location for you. The nearby Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is also a great spot for photoshoots. It follows along Lady Bird Lake and provides stunning views of the city skyline from the nearby Pedestrian Bridge. With a mix of lush greenery, industrial steel, sleek modernity of the library, and the 2nd street bridge, this location maximizes variety and options in a very small space.
Austin Photoshoot Locations: South First
If you want to go wild, bright, vibrant and funky, then South First is the best of the top 5 locations for headshots in Austin for you! While a headshot with a muted or neutral toned background can be a safe and versatile choice, there are situations (and people) where a bright, colorful, or very vibrant background is advisable. Are you a super bright and bold brand personality? Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Do you work in a more creative field like graphic design or fashion?
If you are hoping to stand out in a super competitive market, then go against the grain and pick a bright or vibrant background. In a sea of neutral-toned headshots, particularly in a competitive job market or industry, a colorful background can be used to really highlight your connection to your industry, to Austin itself, or to your personality or interests, which I think comes especailly in handy when you utilize your images for personal branding and frequent social media use. Adding that visual interest into your images is going to make it leap off the phone and the instagram chaos, making YOU more engaging and memorable. South First offers a TON of bold, bright color and is close enough to Auditorium shores that you can also tack on a few images with the skyline of Austin in the background.
Austin Photoshoot Locations: The East Side
Not a super bright colorful person but want to make sure that your headshot showcases some personality? Then the East Side of Austin is the spot I would choose off my list of the top 5 headshot locations in Austin. The East Side of Austin is a rapidly growing neighborhood that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities but with off-the-beaten-path feel and a wide variety of interesting and alternative textures. It’s a great spot for photoshoots that need a mix of backdrops as the area is home to several murals and street art installations, making it a great spot for colorful and playful photoshoots.
If you want to add some depth and dimension to your headshots, but without super poppy colorful tones, then a dark textured background is the way to go. It will add elements of visual interest, helping your headshot appear more dynamic, but in a more subdued way than some of the other locations in Austin offer. If you want a sense of mood and atmosphere, the East Side offers a sense of mystery, sophistication and drama with the contrast needed to help you stand out.
Austin Photoshoot Locations: the UT Campus
The University of Texas at Austin campus is a beautiful and historic spot that offers a lot of opportunities for a wide variety of backgrounds. The campus features a mix of modern and historic buildings, all surrounded by beautiful greenery. It’s a great spot for lifestyle photoshoots that need a mix of urban and natural backdrops. While the UT Tower, the iconic centerpiece of the campus, will provide you with a stunning and Austin-specific backdrop, the other buildings on campus offer a “blank slate” of classic background choices that can seemingly be from anywhere in America. The abundance of brick walls and classic architecture on the campus offers timeless neutral backdrops that will work for industries ranging from finance to the arts, providing a professional and classic look without being overly formal. Are you an activist or a journalist or do you work in the non-profit sector? If so, conveying a sense of truthfulness and transparency is important and there is no better location for that than an institution of higher learning!
Austin, TX is one of my favorite cities to work in thanks to its incredibly diverse range of location options and vibrant personality. Whether you’re looking for a mix of urban and natural backdrops or colorful and playful spots, there’s something for everyone in Austin. From the trendy cafes and boutiques of South Congress to the lush greenery of Zilker Park and the iconic architecture of the University of Texas, there are endless location options to suit any style or theme of photoshoot.
Austin is also a city with a strong sense of community and creativity, reflected by the fact that so many artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs call it home. This energy and passion can be felt in every corner of the city. It’s a perfect location to capture authentic and dynamic photos, regardless of whether you are looking for a funky and eclectic vibe or a more classic and refined look. If you’re ready to update your headshot, create custom content for your business, or simply document memories for your family, one of these top 5 locations for headshots in Austin is guaranteed to bring your vision to life.
I have a wealth of resources for commercial photography and tips for creatives on my blog. If you’re ready to book your headshot refresh session in Austin, TX, contact me today!
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